Last in the Legislative Assembly December 1999, as MLA for Tu Nedhe

Won his last election, in 1995, with 68% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters July 30th, 1999

Thank you. Then those communities that do not sell off there staff housing, they get that extra little boost of housing into their public unit. I also know and maybe yourself or the Minister of Housing can clarify this, is that there was a fairly concise decision made to encourage home ownership and home ownership has been the biggest priority of the Housing Corporation. Before their portfolio used to be made up of the majority of building up public housing unit stock, building new public housing units. That switched to home ownership.

If these houses cannot be sold on the market and probably because of the appraisal value they are only allowed to sell for 10 percent less than that is the policy. When they are transferred to the Housing Corporation those would be good units to put back into the home ownership program where they could be reduced in price and renovated and then put out to the market for home ownership instead of carrying them on your public housing stock we have to carry them forever, for the next 35 years you have to carry them at that price that you have in the budget every year. Ultimately you would encourage home ownership and you would not need the operations and maintenance money that you are asking to transfer because they would not need it then. Because you would need only the capital money to renovate them to make them livable so home ownership clients can purchase them through the EDAP program or whatever.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters July 30th, 1999

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. It does not matter what the program is. I know there has been no allocation of public housing units, perse new buildings. Everybody knows

that because there is no new money. You have negotiated with CMHC on a block funding arrangement over a certain many years and the federal government is out of public housing and I know there is no new money to build public housing, but there are all those other programs and they have capital money in the budget in the Housing Corporation. Now the way they are allocating their dollars is based on need. It is a fair, fair system. Any given community, for example, in Lutselk'e, they get a certain amount of needs met per year and it is fair, the same as Fort Good Hope would or anybody else. When you throw into the mix because certain staff housing did not sell in a given community, all of a sudden they are getting five extra needs met, because ultimately that is what you do when you turn it over, hand the operations and maintenance over to the Housing Corporation. That is five extra units in their stock. If they are carrying 50 public housing units all of a sudden they are carrying 55 public housing units, so they get five extra needs met. There should be an exit of five other programs out of that same community and reallocated to make it fair. That is my simple understanding of allocating housing whether it is public housing, EDAP or whatever program you have or the selling off of staff housing to the Housing Corporation. Maybe I do not have it right, maybe somebody can clarify that.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters July 30th, 1999

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. In the normal process, and I do not know if it has changed, maybe you will have to call on your Minister of Housing to help you with this, you look at the whole western Arctic, you have a pot of money in your Housing Corporation to meet housing needs in the community. If you renovate a public housing unit and bring it up to standard, you have met one housing need. If you allocate a housing program no matter which one it is, you meet a need. When you have your budgets, when we pass the budgets, we never can meet all the needs because there is not enough money, we all know that. Normally, I think we can meet about ten percent of the actual need, that is what you have. If a community needs ten units, they get one, for example. One housing need is met. Whether there is a whole variety of housing programs to meet different peoples needs. Ultimately, the allocation, the Housing Corporation has a very fair system of allocating units. It is driven by a needs study every three years. The only place that is treated differently that I understand is Yellowknife because of the private markets and all those things. All the other communities are treated the same, fairly.

When your staff housing selling policy says you offer it for sale to the person living in it, the government employee, if they choose not to buy it, then you put it out on the market. If the market does not purchase it then you turn it over to the Housing Corporation for public housing. That is a good policy as well. The problem is in this case you have Norman Wells and Fort Simpson, they are getting extra housing for public housing needs in that community without giving up some of that other stuff. Whatever the units are, say five, they are getting five extra housing needs met, more than any other community is. There is nothing wrong with the policy, nothing wrong with the way the Housing Corporation give out their units except for the two do not ever talk to each other to see if it is still fair, when you put the two they are seen separate. When in reality you are still meeting a public housing need. There is where the problem lies. Maybe things have changed, I do not know.

Committee Motion 43-13(7): To Amend Clause 7 Of Bill 19 July 29th, 1999

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. It is always good to compliment people when they take recommendations from the committee, and I would just like thank the Minister for doing an excellent job to bring in two amendments that were recommended by the committee. Thank you.

Committee Motion 41-13(7): To Amend Appendix B Of Bill 15 July 29th, 1999

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Bill 19 provides the Northwest Territories minimum wage will be the baseline in calculating the overtime and holiday pay for commissioned workers. Previously, the act dictated the Labour Standards Board to calculate overtime in a manner that could be seen to be unfair to employers. This act will change that. The act will also have the effect of ensuring that all commissioned workers receive at least minimum wage for hours worked. The Standing Committee on Social Programs held a public hearing on Bill 19, An Act to Amend the Labour Standards Act, on June 28, 1999. In addition to the public hearing, the standing committee also solicited written responses from identified stakeholders.

Organized labour has responded that they have no major concerns with Bill 19. The standing committee did identify one concern with the original amendments contained in Bill 19. Under the current Labour Standards Act, pay for statutory public holiday is calculated by taking an average of the commissioned workers' daily pay for the previous four weeks. The proposed amendments contained in Bill 19 would base pay on whatever the current minimum wage is in the Northwest Territories. This would have the effect of analyzing commissioned workers who earn more than minimum wage to their commissions. The committee has proposed that the government prepare an amendment to continue the practise of basing statutory holiday pay on the daily average for the commissioned worker over the last four weeks. The average would not be less than the minimum wage for the Northwest Territories.

During the review of Bill 19, committee Members did note that it would be necessary to make major amendments to the Labour Standards Act in the near future as the act is old and out of date with practices in other Canadian jurisdictions. The Members of the Standing Committee on Social Programs had no other concerns with Bill 19. Individual Members may have questions or concerns as we proceed. Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Committee Motion 41-13(7): To Amend Appendix B Of Bill 15 July 29th, 1999

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. The Minister

would like to proceed with Bill 19 and then Bill 20? Is that my understanding?

Committee Motion 41-13(7): To Amend Appendix B Of Bill 15 July 29th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Like I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, this bill is part of a constitutional development process of how governance should be carried out in the western Arctic. I do not believe that this should of went ahead without a new constitution for the west and fair representation and equal voice from all the regions and our small communities. By itself it is going to be a detrimental to our small communities so when the time comes, Madam Chairperson, I would request a recorded vote on the bill as a whole. Thank you.

Committee Motion 41-13(7): To Amend Appendix B Of Bill 15 July 29th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. On the bill as a whole, myself I will be voting against it. I never did agree with this Bill 15, never will. I believe that the people of the Northwest Territories can come up with political solutions, come up with a constitution, they can come up with a new governance. I believe they have the will to do that and they have the ability. The only reason this bill is in this Legislative Assembly is because a judge put it here. It is as simple as that. I do not agree with increasing the representation to the major centres in the Western Territory. I believe that was part of a constitutional...

Committee Motion 39-13(7): To Amend Appendix A Of Bill 15 July 29th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. So this motion changes the names to Inuvik Twin Lakes and Inuvik Boot Lake? Is that correct? Boot Lake?

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters July 29th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Maybe we can have Mr. Miltenberger repeat his comments that he made on Bill 15.